Right, if you start from decision theory then the prior is high and if you start from naive realism then the prior is really low, but I mean, the likelihood ratio started out high the very moment he realized he was abnormally intelligent and he had three last names, and ever since then it just keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and bigger, and...

He lost in math contests, but I think he thought himself smarter than almost all other humans along the dimensions that actually mattered. He explicitly has a messianic complex.

if you start from decision theory then the prior is high

I feel obligated to explicitly note that literally interpreted this is a straightforward abuse of the words "decision theory" and "prior" even if the concept I'm getting at isn't too abusive.

4JoshuaZ9yThree last names is not that uncommon, and there are a lot of abnormally intelligent people in the world. Of the people who are in the top tenth of a percent in intelligence there have to be around six million people on the planet who fit that. So the chance that anything special is happening is still really low at that point. The chance might get higher overtime. And it helps that Harry is genre aware enough to sarcastically ask if there's a prophecy about him. (That section is still by far one of my favorite parts of the story.) So he's already located the hypothesis to some extent although he may have located it due more to pattern matching than actual evidence. Moreover, at the same time, Harry knows from talking to Dumbledore and reading old books about Gryffindor and others that in their universe there is such a thing as heroes. So Harry doesn't have a strong reason to see why his heroism isn't different than Gryffindor's. He might be the character with well meaning intentions who goes evil so that someone can arise to stop him in a few years. He'll be the classic MagiTech using villain, and it might even have a big anti-transhumanist undercurrent. It seems that you might be engaging in a weird form of hindsight bias together with possibly the illusion of transparency.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread, part 9

by Oscar_Cunningham 1 min read9th Sep 2011725 comments


(The HPMOR discussion thread after this one is here.)

The previous thread is over the 500-comment threshold, so let's start a new Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality discussion thread.  This is the place to discuss Eliezer Yudkowsky's Harry Potter fanfic and anything related to it. The latest chapter as of 09/09/2011 is Ch. 77.

The first 5 discussion threads are on the main page under the harry_potter tag.  Threads 6 and on (including this one) are in the discussion section using its separate tag system.  Also: one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.  The fanfiction.net author page is the central location for information about updates and links to HPMOR-related goodies, and AdeleneDawner has kept an archive of Author's Notes.

As a reminder, it's often useful to start your comment by indicating which chapter you are commenting on.

Spoiler Warning:  this thread is full of spoilers.  With few exceptions, spoilers for MOR and canon are fair game to post, without warning or rot13.  More specifically:

You do not need to rot13 anything about HP:MoR or the original Harry Potter series unless you are posting insider information from Eliezer Yudkowsky which is not supposed to be publicly available (which includes public statements by Eliezer that have been retracted).

If there is evidence for X in MOR and/or canon then it's fine to post about X without rot13, even if you also have heard privately from Eliezer that X is true. But you should not post that "Eliezer said X is true" unless you use rot13.